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Purchasing An Existing Domain Name

Posted by on Nov 29, 2008

Today was a day of interesting frustration as it pertains to doing some things online. I’m sure I’m not the only one to go through something like this, so I’m sharing my tale with you. On Friday, I purchased an existing blog, which I’ll be bringing up pretty soon. Actually, I’ve already tried bringing it up, but I don’t want to jump ahead in this story.

On Tuesday, someone posted on Twitter that there were two websites that someone was selling for a relatively low amount. I’m the curious sort, so I figured I’d meander over to see what all the fuss was about. Indeed someone had posted on the Warrior Forum that they were selling two websites, and one of them was a blog. This particular blog is something I know a little bit about, but want to know more about, and it was relatively new. The owner had decided he didn’t have enough time to work on these two projects and decided to unload them. I wanted this one, so I wrote him. Actually, I had to write a comment on one of his blog posts, because he hadn’t created a contact page, so I had no other way to reach him.

The next morning, he responded to me and said that no one else had put in a request for it, and if I wanted it then it was mine. I was happy; I figured this would be an easy conversion, it already had a couple of posts, and because he had written basically every 10 days or so I could take some time with it, as it hasn’t really built up any following yet. I finally wrote him and asked if we could take care of the transaction over the weekend, since I was packing so I could go to my mother’s for the Thanksgiving holiday. He agreed, so we said we’d contact each other on Saturday.

Instead, I ended up coming home relatively early Friday afternoon because I had another commitment planned, but that got canceled. Sitting around on a Friday night with nothing else going on, I wrote him to see if he was available, and he was. So, here’s the process of purchasing and transferring a domain name to someone else.

I started off by paying him the amount he’d requested for the domain. He gave me his Paypal email address, so I went into my Paypal account, clicked on the option that said “Send Money’, put in his email address and the amount, and away the payment went. I got an almost immediate notice saying the payment had gone through, so I felt pretty good about that. Then I sent him an email mentioning the payment, and I gave him my GoDaddy account number, since that’s where he’d purchased his domain name. That’s all he needed; he didn’t need my password, which was a good thing. Now, if we hadn’t had accounts at the same place, I’d have had to create one wherever he’d purchased his domain from, and then I could have transferred it to whomever I wanted to at that point.

Within minutes after he’d set the transfer in motion, I had an email from GoDaddy saying there was a transfer in motion, and I had to sign onto the site to accept it, which of course I did. About five minutes later I received an email saying the transfer was complete; it can take up to 48 hours in some instances, so I was pretty happy.

The next step for me was to go to my host and set it up for acceptance of the new domain. As usual, when you do this you get the DNS servers for you to put in where you’ve temporarily parked the domain name, and while you’re doing that your account is being created by your host. I went to GoDaddy and did what I needed to do, then waited. The first notice I got was from GoDaddy saying the nameserver transfer had gone through. I then went back to my host, 1&1, and saw the message that my account had been created and was ready for full processing; sweet!

I went into the domain account, created a directory and set up a password, waited about five minutes for it to be created, then I started loading the database that the guy who’d sold me the domain name had backed up. That took awhile, since it’s a WordPress blog (most of you know it’s an easy process, but can take awhile sometimes). When it was finally loaded, I was ready to go see the fruits of my labor.

This is where the problems started, but they’re not going to be what you thought; don’t jump ahead. I typed the domain name in, expecting to see the blog fully set up, and instead I had this message that said “Error establishing a database connection“; I was not a happy man. I thought that maybe I had done something wrong, and indeed I had, as I hadn’t saved the correct files in the correct place. So I had to load all the files again, knowing that this time around it was all going to be good.

Nope; I still had the same error message, and now I really wasn’t happy. I wondered if I was supposed to run the blog process through the host first, as they have a program which will create a WordPress blog for you on your domain. So I signed into my account and selected that option, figuring that I didn’t mind if it overwrote what I’d uploaded, since I could always upload whatever I wanted to again. This time it was going to work, right?

Nope; it still didn’t work. Now I was frustrated, so I called the hosting company to ask for some assistance. One of the problems you sometimes have with customer service when it’s based in another country is that you may be using the same words, but you’re not speaking the same language. In this case, the person on the other end first said that I’d created the wrong kind of directory, which didn’t make sense since I’ve done this many times before, and then he said that maybe I need to make some corrections in my data.

I took that to mean that I needed to go into my account through my ftp server and delete some files. I ended up deleting all the files, which, unfortunately, takes much longer than uploading them, because you can’t delete a folder until you’ve deleted everything in that folder first, and of course some folders have multiple folders themselves. I spent pretty much just over 3 hours deleting every single file I’d uploaded so I could try the process again.

This time, I decided to call customer service back to ask about this directory thing, which I knew had to have been correct the first time around. I got someone else, still in another country, but we were understanding each other better. He said the directory was fine, but said he didn’t see anything in it. I told him that was because I’d deleted everything in the directory, based on the previous conversation with another representative. He then said the system was showing that the full transfer of the new domain to the new nameservers was still in process, and could take from 24 to 48 hours. I said I thought it had already completed, and he said no; that explains why I couldn’t see anything online. Ugh!

So, I had to upload everything again, and this time I guess I’ll be patient and keep checking over the next 24 to 48 hours. I hope it’s sooner than later, but until I see it for myself, I’m not going to mention the name. But there’s another lesson learned, and now I hope I’ve helped y’all learn a thing or two also.

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Wow, what a rigmarole. I know that when you first purchase a new domain that it sometimes takes 24-48 hours before it becomes available so I suppose it is conceivable that the same is true when you transfer one over. I can’t wait to see the new blog and then the changes, if any, that you make to it.

Sire´s last blog post..ProBlogger Plea To Amazon Associates Program

November 30th, 2008 | 12:34 AM

I’m getting closer, Sire; almost there. lol

December 1st, 2008 | 1:28 AM

Turns out that might not have been the issue after all; at least, at this point, I’m finally seeing something, after talking to customer support again.

December 1st, 2008 | 1:31 AM

hi Mitch,
It kinda of hurts just to read your post. I hate dealing with the kind of headaches you describe. Arghhh… Regarding your new blog, are you going to let us know the name at some point and why you decided to buy it? Good luck with it!
~ Steve, aka the trade show guru

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Stay at Home Dads and Goulash

December 1st, 2008 | 1:27 PM

Thanks Dan. Actually, now it’s up, but I don’t have the full database back. Seems the guy didn’t save it the way one is supposed to do, which even I didn’t know, so we’re trying some workarounds. Always something with me.

December 2nd, 2008 | 2:57 AM

Holy crap !

That is just sad. I have had these situations when I just spend endless and endless amounts of time to do something, and later I just realized that I should wait, or click here.

All the best,

The Moneyac

December 2nd, 2008 | 2:38 PM

You know, Money, it’s one of those things where, when I talked to the guy I bought it from, he said he did it a different way, and didn’t know about this one piece he could have done instead. That’s seems to be the lesson here; look around for simpler ways to do something before having to do it the hard way.

December 3rd, 2008 | 12:41 AM

I hope that everything is settled now. Leave alone buying existing blogs, even a WP DB restore and WP upgrades are something that I am always worried about. You never know how things turn out.

By the way, I hope it’s a temperory problem while DNS tables getting updated.

And when are you making the domain name public, just curious to know what niche and domain name was that?


Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..Right Time to Start Your New Self-Hosted Professional Blog

December 2nd, 2008 | 9:07 PM

Ajith, once I get it set up and working, I’ll be sure to share it here. As for buying existing blogs and domains, now that I’ve gone through this process I’d know what to do next time, as well as tell the other person what to do. It’s always a learning experience.

December 3rd, 2008 | 12:43 AM